DFS NHL Optimal Lineups:  February 21 Cover Image
DFS NHL Optimal Lineups: February 21

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Peter Budaj Headshot

Budaj led his team onto the ice for warmups and will start in goal for Tuesday night's matchup in Colorado, Kevin Baxter of the LA Times reports.

As expected, Budaj will make his twelfth straight start Tuesday and will look to turn it around after some bad showings recently. If his offense can hold up their end, he'll have a good chance at a W against a horrific Avalanche offense.
8:41 pm (EST)
Paul LaDue Headshot

LaDue is dealing with an upper-body injury, according to president and general manager Dean Lombardi, LA Kings Insider reports.

LaDue was out of the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Avalanche and it's uncertain how much more time he is slated to miss. For fantasy purposes he only warrants attention in the very deepest of pools.
8:39 pm (EST)
Cameron Rupp Headshot

Rupp played through much of last season with an undisclosed arm injury, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The injury didn't seem to impact Rupp at the plate as his .447 slugging percentage put him among the top catchers in baseball. It did hurt his ability to slow down the run game, however, as he threw out just 27 percent of possible base stealers after averaging 38 percent his previous two seasons. The Phillies want to see Rupp improve on his game calling and pitch framing this season after he struggled in both areas last year. Phillies' bullpen coach John McLaren, who also works with the catchers, said Rupp needs to improve his focus during games. It will be important for Rupp to further develop defensively this season with top prospect Jorge Alfaro in Triple-A Lehigh Valley this year. He could start pushing for Rupp's job as soon as midseason if he gets off to a strong start in the minors.
8:36 pm (EST)
Jason Kipnis Headshot

The Indians' medical and training staff has incorporated a shoulder-strengthening program into Kipnis' spring routine, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.

Kipnis did not participate in fielding drills during Monday morning's workout as the team decided to give him a lighter workload. Although the All-Star second baseman wasn't hindered last year, he has dealt with nagging shoulder woes in previous seasons. There's been no official word that Kipnis is experiencing any shoulder issues now, but it's worth noting this new maintenance program.
8:32 pm (EST)
Emmanuel Mudiay Headshot

Mudiay (back) took part in a full practice on Tuesday, Adam Mares of DenverStiffs.com reports.

Mudiay missed the last six games prior to the All-Star break because of back spasms, but after a week off for additional rehab, it appears he's finally nearing a return to full strength. His full participation in Tuesday's practice indicates he could be good to go as soon as Thursday's game against the Kings, although a final word on his availability might not come until later in the week. A return from Mudiay would mean a significant decrease in value for Jameer Nelson, who's taken over the starting point guard role for the duration of Mudiay's absence.
8:25 pm (EST)
Dennis Wideman Headshot

Wideman was a healthy scratch for Tuesday's game against the Predators.

Wideman has managed just one point over his past 10 games. The veteran is in a defenseman logjam and appears to be the odd-man out at the moment. With the NHL trade deadline right around the corner and his impending free agent status at season's end, he could be on the trade block for the thrifty Flames looking for any kind of return.
8:17 pm (EST)
Tim Quarterman Headshot

Quarterman was assigned Tuesday to the D-League's Long Island Nets.

Quarterman has taken part in just 13 games for the Trail Blazers this season, as he's no higher than the team's fourth option at either point guard or shooting guard. With Long Island starting up their post All-Star break schedule on Wednesday against the Grand Rapids Drive, Quarterman will join the team to get extended playing time, which should provide some much-needed game reps. He could be recalled to the Trail Blazers ahead of Thursday's game with the Magic, but he won't see the court if the game remains competitive.
8:16 pm (EST)
Tony Cingrani Headshot

Cingrani could get a few saves in 2017, with the team contemplating a four-man closer committee.

Judging from manager Bryan Price's quote, however, Cingrani is the fourth option, based on the possible game situation. "I would really like to see this particular game plan we have in place work out," Price said on Sunday. "We want to look at the end of the year and we see Storen and Iglesias and Lorenzen, in particular, with some saves. That may mean Cingrani as well, if he's the best guy we have for that situation in the ninth inning."
8:13 pm (EST)
Joakim Noah Headshot

Noah (hamstring) has been ruled out for Thursday's game against the Cavaliers, Ian Begley of ESPN.com reports.

Noah reportedly tweaked his hamstring during a practice just prior to the All-Star break and continues to deal with significant discomfort despite having the last week off for recovery. His next opportunity to take the court will be Saturday against the 76ers, although at this point, there's no guarantees he'll be ready by that time. With Noah sitting out Thursday, Willy Hernangomez will draw yet another start, marking his third in a row. Kyle O'Quinn could also see a few extra minutes off the bench.
8:08 pm (EST)
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